What you’ll find here – A summary of the best camping tents from the best tent brands like Coleman, Kelty, Cabelas, and REI as well as expert advice on how to figure out which tent is best for you. From a one person tent, family tent to an instant cabin tent find the best tents for the camping you like to do.
Overall Best Camping Tent
How the 6 person tent feels: Luxurious for 4 people (great if you have a dog), comfortable as a 5 person tent, and tight for 6 people.
Weight: 21 lbs. 6 oz.
Type: 3 season tent with rainfly
Pros: Room to stand, high-quality materials, 2 large doors, great backpack carrying case, room divider, storage pockets, good ventilation, interior zippers to access rainfly vents and rainfly rolls back so that you can enjoy the stars at night.
Cons: The height of the tent isn’t ideal for windy weather, however with the new pole design this issue is nothing to be concerned about anymore.
Bottom line: Room for a family of 4 to spread out. This tent is well-designed and great for camping. The REI Kingdom 6 person tent is did really well in rainy weather. The tent comes ready for rainy conditions with high-quality sealed seams and a huge vestibule for storing wet/muddy gear. This tent fits into a compact case that has convenient shoulder straps for easy carry. This tent has it all for camping, you will not be disappointed.
Top pick: The REI Kingdom Tents are our overall best camping tent choice for camping tents. It’s got all you need for a great camping trip.
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Page last updated: November, 2020
High-level summary of the best tents
Best Camping/Backpacking Crossover Tent
How the 4 person tent feels: It’s called 4 Plus for a reason. Very comfortable for 4 people and gear. Each size has the extra room needed for camping or hiking gear.
Weight: 7 lbs. 10 oz.
Type: 3 season tent with rainfly
Pros: Great deal for the price with high-quality poles/materials, easy setup, and lightweight enough to be considered a good combo or hybrid camping and hiking tent. Well made large storage pockets, 2 doors, 2 vestibules/awnings, very nice ventilation, and a rainfly rolls that back. Throughout our testing of the best tent brands, we find this tent to be one of the easy setup tents. In fact, we rate this as the easiest tent to set up when you take into account it not being an instant tent.
Cons: The height of the tent isn’t ideal tall people and it doesn’t come with enough stakes and guylines for all of the attachment points (which is not really an issues since it comes with enough for the key anchor points).
Bottom line: While these are smaller camping tents than some of the dedicated camping only ones, they are a great option for light backpacking and even bike touring. The REI’s Half Dome Plus Series is a great one-quiver tent. For backpacking with the Half Dome, stick to the size recommendations… 2 Plus for 2 people and you’ll be happy. With these Half Dome tents you’ll be able to use wide sleeping pads, have the extra room for gear (and/or a dog) all while keeping weight low enough for backpacking. One great advantage of the Half Domes is that they are very stable in the wind because of their design. The Half Dome is a well built tent that keeps you comfortable in any weather.
Top pick: The REI Half Dome Plus Series is the best camping/hiking crossover tent choice for campers that are also looking to do a little backpacking.
Best Backpacking Tent
Why pick this backpacking tent: This tent has really good quality materials and the space to weight ratio is perfect for multi-day backpacking adventures.
Weight: 3 lb. 1 oz. (UL2)
Type: 3 season tent
Pros: Light yet has enough room for all your gear, is quick to setup, large doors, has quality materials and is designed well.
Cons: The rainfly zipper is known to snag. This is not a major issue but it can be annoying to have to work the a few times to get it.
Bottom line: The Big Agnes Copper Spur has the best combination of weight, space, and rain protection of any backpacking tent. It’s our go to tent for non-ultralight backpacking outdoor adventures. We recommend sizing up one size, so if you have 2 people, we suggest the UL3.
Best Family Tent
Sizes: 8 person
How the 8 person tent feels: Plenty of space for 4 people, very comfortable for 5 people, and narrow for 8 people.
Weight: 49 lbs. 5 oz.
Type: 3 season tent with rain fly
Pros: Very well priced for the quality, room to stand, almost vertical walls, quality materials, 2 doors, great ventilation, even has a room divider making this a two room tent (multi room tent) and it even has door mats. Includes all guylines & stakes so no need to purchase extra.
Cons: It is pretty heavy and bulky so don’t use this on long range backpacking. The rainfly vents are small and there is no access to vents from inside tent. Not the easiest to setup but it is color coded.
Bottom line: The Coleman Octagon 98 is an affordable room-style tent that is ideal for a family camp trip. We find this tent to be one of the best coleman tents available. The tent is almost like a yurt it’s high ceiling and tie back like curtains. This tent really provides great 360° views. While the Octagon tent is on the heavy side and can be a little confusing to setup even with the color coding it’s not so difficult to where 2 people or your kids can’t figure it out. The structure of the Octagon is solid and the quality materials make it a good tent option when you have kids (or a dog). This tent is a great hangout and enjoy the camp fire with the family tent.
Best Instant / Cabin Tent
Sizes: 8 person
How the 8 person tent feels: Very spacious for even 8 people (can fit 4 queen size airbeds).
Weight: 32.2 lbs.
Type: 3 season tent with rain fly
Pros: Very quick setup (instant setup in about 60 seconds thanks to pre attached poles ), good airflow and ventilation, performs great in windy and rainy weather. This tent keeps you dry in very rainy weather. It’s been tested in heavy rain for 14 hours and not drop made it into the tent thanks to the welded corners, protected seams and covered zippers designed to keep water out.
Cons: The stakes it comes with are not very good, we recommend buying better ones if budget allows. It’s hard to get the tent back into the carrying case, it just a little small and takes some work to get the tent back into the bag.
Bottom line: The The Coleman Instant / Cabin Tent is ideal for a family given its size. It works really well with air mattresses and has ample windows all around for great air flow and views. The tent is quite sturdy. You can easily can fit 4 people plus various bags of gear/clothes with room to still move around easily. The 2 entryways are great for getting in and out without disturbing the people you are with.
Best Budget Camping Tent
How the 2 person tent feels: Fits 2 people with gear.
Weight: 6.38 lbs.
Type: 3 season tent with rainfly awning for shade and rain protection.
Pros: 10 minute quick setup, large windows and a ground vent for good airflow, good carrying bag, nice weight even for shorter backpack trips. Very waterproof but if you run into extreme horizontal wind and rain the awning will not do as well as a rainfly that ends closer to the ground.
Cons: Does not come with a footprint so you will need to purchase one. We recommend the AmazonBasics Camping Tarp. Only the upper half of the door can be unzipped to reveal the screen window.
Bottom line: Great tent for the price. If your on a fixed budget or are looking for a good starter tent you will not beat this one.
Best 1 Person Camping Tent
Sizes: 1 person
How the 1 person tent feels: Plenty of room for 1 person and gear.
Weight: 4.2 lbs.
Type: 3 season tent.
Pros: Setup and take down is very easy, it can be accomplished in around 2 minutes. The two vents at the top of this tent help to reduce condensation. Great in wind, rain, and the heat of the desert. The rain cover goes all the way to the ground.
Cons: Even though we did not have any issues with durability, other camper we know have noted that the zippers can be weak and might cause issues.
Bottom line: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is a best bang for the buck 1 person tent. It’s quick, light, and well designed. From camping around the fire to longer backpacking trips this tent will earn your trust time and time again.
Choosing the best camping tent for you
Price – You want the best tent for the price, just like we do. So in our experience of tent camping, the best tents are ones that align quality of materials, functionality and price. You don’t want to spend money just to have a zipper break, a rain fly leak, or a pole snap in the wind. We only pick the practical, high quality tents, in other words, the best tents. A good tent will provide many years of enjoyment and outdoor adventures. Going for the cheapest tent option can end often end a camping trip quickly and in a very unpleasant way (especially if it cold or raining…trust us we know). For the highest quality affordable option, check out our top budget tent: Coleman Sundome Tent and our overall best camping tent choice the REI Co-op Kingdom 6.
Size and space – Fitting everyone and their gear while minimizing the weight your are carrying is key. Whether you’re camping, backpacking, bike touring or just pitching a tent your backyard, you want to make sure you have the right size. We almost always recommend a size up unless you are going for a longer backpacking trip in remote areas. Big camping tents and a tall tent is what you want. This means if you are two people, get the 3 person tent. Our recommendations are all about matching the best technology and accommodating for interior space while still keeping your tent light and compact. For our favorite camping tents that are still backpacker-friendly, check out the best Camping/Backpacking Crossover Tent: REI Co-op Half Dome 4 Plus. Keep in mind that a spacious camping tent to stand up, stretch out, and be comfortable in, whether you’re camping alone or sharing space with family and friends is what you want. Packed size and weight aren’t a huge concern for short trips.
Weight – We strongly suggest a spacious camping tent to stand up, stretch out, and be comfortable in for camping. Even though the tents we recommend take weight into consideration and we suggest the best weight to space options, it’s better to be comfortable than worry about carrying an extra ounce or two..
Ease of Setup – Many times you will need to set up a tent alone or you’ll just be tired from travel. Tents can actually be frustrating and complex when all you want is to relax by the fire. Sometimes you just want a quick tent and a the easiest tent to set up by yourself. We always recommend tents that have improved setup design and even color coding when available. For easy tent camping, our favorite tent that’s really simple to set up is the REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent.
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Best 2 Person Camping Tent
Sizes: 2 person
How the 2 person tent feels: Plenty of room for 2 people and gear. Hence the 2 Plus in the tent name. Great for extra gear and/or a dog!
Weight: 5 lbs. 5 oz.
Type: 3 season tent
Pros: Improved pole architecture increases the space inside the tent and creates vertical side walls that provide generous head and shoulder room. The rain fly has 4 top vents that provide airflow to prevent condensation buildup. If you’re like us, we loath waking up in the morning to drops of “rain” inside the tent. The Half Dome has 2 large doors and 2 vestibules offer easy access and additional covered storage which is great for when you want to cover your gear.
Cons: Even though we did not have any issues with the seams, other campers have had the glue sealing the seams flaked off. We expect this is due to improper storage of extreme temperature swings (like in direct sunlight).
Bottom line: REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent is easy to setup, a great size for activities that require extra space such as bike touring, camping with extra gear, or a dog. It keeps you dry, has the space you want and the REI quality build… a winner all around for 2 people that want to have room for the extra fun stuff.
Best 4 Person Camping Tent
Sizes: 4 person
How the 4 person tent feels: Plenty of room for 2 people with gear. Comfortable for 3 people and just right for 4 people.
Weight: 14 lbs. 2 oz.
Type: 3 season tent with rain fly
Pros: Quick & easy set up with color-coding and it has high-quality poles and fabric. The seams are fully tapered. Being 6′ 3″ there is still room to stand because of the near vertical walls. The two large doors are great for getting in and out without a hassle. The zippers are built well and function smoothly. Great ventilation while still maintaining some privacy. With the interior zippers you can access rainfly vents which is awesome when things start to get steamy. Door stash pockets for the stuff you want to get at quickly like phones, lights, keys, a knife, ect…
Cons: It’s tall so wind it will catch some wind. Just get put some gear in it and it will be fine. Guylines not pre-attached which is a pain but an easy fix and there are not enough stakes/guylines included for all guy-out points… seems like a common trend in tents these days. They provide enough to be stable but not enough for all attachment points.
Bottom line: REI Co-op Grand Hut 4 Tent has a great balance of quality materials to affordability, which is one of the primary reasons we suggest this tent. Out of each tent we’ve reviewed, this one had the best height to being able to handle stormy weather balance. With the roof vents that can be accessed from the interior and extra-thick poles we found this tent to be a best of class. It’s also super easy to setup (intuitive tent due to color coding). The Grand Hut 4 is also exceptionally long which makes it great for tall people!
Best 6 Person Camping Tent
Sizes: 6 person
How the 6 person tent feels: Luxurious for 4 people and comfortable for 6 people
Weight: 12 lbs. 10 oz.
Type: 3 season tent
Pros: Room to stand if you’re not over 5 feet 6 inches and you can stand in more areas because of the near vertical walls. Eureka makes good quality poles and fabric and this tent has fully taped seams. The top half of the tent is mesh which means you get great ventilation and star gazing.
Cons: Even though we did not have any issues with the seams, other campers have had the glue sealing the seams flaked off. We expect this is due to improper storage of extreme temperature swings (like in a garage).
Bottom line: Eureka tent is great , a great size for activities that require extra space such as bike touring, camping with extra gear, or a dog. It keeps you dry, has the space you want and the REI quality build… a winner all around for 2 people that want to have room for the extra fun stuff.
Best 8 Person Camping Tent
Sizes: 8 person
How the 8 person tent feels: Roomy for 8 people (adults) and gear. Can fit 3 queen air mattresses!
Weight: 18 lbs.
Type: 3 season tent
Pros: Easy setup. Some people say it takes 10 minutes but we found that it takes a bit longer. The zippers are great and a highlight of this tent. High quality and smooth zipping. The last thing you want want to have happen is a broken zipper while mosquitoes are out and about. Don’t worry about those pesky suckers with this tent. Great in windy weather as it keeps wind out (windproof) and is stable when windstorm gusts hit. Waterproof index is over 4000mm (all you need). The TOMOUNT 8 is lightweight for the class of tent and has really nice ventilation with 1 large mesh door, 5 mesh windows and a mesh top that enables awesome stargazing and airflow when needed.
Cons: The setup of this tent usually takes 2 people so you’ll want to find someone to help. While this tent is a 3 season tent, because of all of the mesh doors and vents the tent doesn’t keep in heat as well as some others. If you’re going to be camping in cold weather another tent may be a better option or just use a warmer sleeping bag.
Bottom line: Awesome for the price. Sturdy, waterproof, and windproof. Fits what you want and more. Better if used in warmer weather or if you have a nice warm sleeping back as it doesn’t hold in heat as well because of the great stargazing mesh roof. Comes with an inner curtain if you need a separate room within the tent.
Best 10 Person Camping Tent
Sizes: 10 person
How the 10 person tent feels: Very comfortable for 6 people and once you get to 10 people it gets tight. 10 adults will not fit well in this tent.
Weight: 30 lbs.
Type: technically a 3 season tent but we recommend only using in fair weather due to the non-fully taped seams and quality of materials.
Pros: The price is good for a 10 person tent. Definitely one of the affordable options. Most people can stand inside of the tent and it has nice room dividers. The package includes all guylines and stakes. The windows make for good ventilation especially during the summer months. Fits 3 queen beds.
Cons: Requires two people to setup. Its a heavy tent. The stakes are weak and can bend so be careful when installing them into the ground. The poles should have been constructed with stronger material to withstand heavier winds and the stronger outdoor elements.
Bottom line: The Ozark Trail 10 Person Tent great for fair weather camping with large groups. The seams are not good so you’ll need to seam seal them if you plan on extended camping in the rain. While this tent is good for the casual camping family, if you really want to get your family into camping we suggest a higher quality tent such as our 8 person or 6 person tents above.
Best 4 Season Camping Tent
Sizes: 2 person
How the 2 person tent feels: Plenty of room for 2 person and gear. It has a 40 square foot footprint which is larger than many other 4 season tents.
Weight: 9 lbs. 10 oz.
Type: 4 season tent
Pros: Burly double-wall and engineering designed to handle high winds. The fly connects to the poles and the body of the tent. Handles cold and strong weather very well while providing great livability for if you get socked in. Tent fly can be pitched without the canopy to create a very nice and lightweight open-air shelter.
Cons: We have seen reports that condensation inside of the tent may occur over extended periods of time in wet environments without a good footprint w). Obtaining a good tent footprint will help solve this issue.
Bottom line: The Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent is easy to setup with one person, a great size if you’re okay with a little added weight. The quality is great and its atime tested true tent. activities that require extra space such as bike touring, camping with extra gear, or a dog. It keeps you dry, has the space you want and the REI quality build… a winner all around for 2 people that want to have room for the extra fun stuff.
Camping tent considerations
- 3 season tents – most tents are 3 season tents and are used for spring, summer and fall. You don’t want a 3 season tent if you are in the snow or in extreme conditions. Because 3 season tents are used in nicer weather, they usually have nice mesh windows and will ward off rain, bugs and the sun.
- 4 season tents – are usually used for snow camping or extreme weather conditions. They are usually heavier and are not normally designed for increase comfort such as standing up in. 4 season tents usually have fewer mesh areas which means less ventilation.
Footprint – A footprint is an extra piece of fabric that is placed beneath your tent. Some tents come with them and some don’t. We recommend using a footprint as it will help improve the longevity of the floor of your tent and they are great at protecting you from water on the ground if it rains.
Waterproofing – Most high-quality tents come with taped seams and water-resistant/proof fabric. Taped seams means protection where stitching has been done on the tent, such as the zippers. If your tent instructions say that you should seam seal the tent that usually means your tent will get wet on the inside if it rains. You can seam seal yourself and it isn’t difficult, we suggest just looking up a view online.
Stakes and Guylines – It’s important to stake down your tent so it does not blow away. Staking your tent also allows for tent to stretch to it’s full size which maximized the space inside. A loosely tied down tent flaps in the wind which creates extra wear on the tent. Guylines, the rope/string that connects to the tent and stakes help support the tent structure and help it resist the wind.
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